Robbery in Switzerland

By Francis Walker
Updated: December 21, 2008

Had Evander Holyfield defeated 7-ft., 300-lb., Nikolai Valuev for the WBA crown, the 46 year-old would have become the oldest heavyweight champion in boxing history. Holyfield would have also become the first to win a world heavyweight title on five separate occasions.

Had Evander Holyfield defeated 7-ft., 300-lb., Nikolai Valuev for the WBA crown, the 46 year-old would have become the oldest heavyweight champion in boxing history. Holyfield would have also become the first to win a world heavyweight title on five separate occasions.

NEW YORK – Evander Holyfield was a tremendous underdog heading into his WBA heavyweight title bid against a 7-foot tall, 300-pound Russian giant named Nikolai Valuev. Many doubted Holyfield’s chances of pulling off a huge upset.

Holyfield looked ten years younger and boxed beautifully through twelve rounds through the Swiss chants of “Holyfield, Holyfield.” But when the decision was announced, the 12,500 in attendance at Hallenstadion in Zurich, Switzerland booed Valuev’s shocking majority decision victory.

Two official judges scored the bout 116-112 and 115-114 for Valuev, whose record improved to a debatable 50-1, 34 KOs. The third judge had it 114-114 (even) after twelve rounds. BASN scored the bout 116-113 for Holyfield.

Had Holyfield, now 42-10-2, 27 KOs, won a deserved decision, he would have been the oldest heavyweight champion at age 46, as well as, the first fighter to win a heavyweight crown on five separate occasions.

The oldest fighter to win a world heavyweight championship is the legendary George Foreman at age 45. On November 5, 1994, Foreman pulled off one of the most stunning upsets in boxing history when he KO’d unbeaten Michael Moorer in round ten to win the IBF/WBA titles.

Unbelievable!

Holyfield simply used angles and moved from side-to-side against Valuev. Holyfield wasn’t the Holyfield that beat Mike Tyson twice, Riddick Bowe three times, and troubled Lennox Lewis for 24 rounds.

Instead, Holyfield looked somewhat similar to the Ruslan Chagaev that handed Valuev his first professional loss in April 2007. Chagaev boxed circles around Valuev and was aggressive when necessary before capturing a majority-nod after twelve.

Holyfield maybe old, but was still good enough to outbox and outthink a big, slow, giant like Valuev. He landed the cleaner punches that caught Valuev flush on the chin. Valuev was too passive and extremely limited in his attack.

It wasn’t until the sixth round when Valuev started to jab consistently. Holyfield, as inspiring as he was, carefully picked his shots and attacked Valuev with overhand left and right hooks that landed flush.

Holyfield did tire after the eighth round because of age and Valuev’s massive size. Valuev did attempt to land right hands and uppercuts, but his punches were too slow and plodding. Holyfield’s was faster and more effective.

The decision was a disappointment. Holyfield maybe far past his prime, but at least he proved why he should continue to his career. Holyfield’s brave and clever performance, the discomfort of many, may even warrant a rematch in the forth coming year.

Valuev exposed again?

Size really doesn’t mean anything, especially if a fighter or an athlete doesn’t have much talent.

Once again, Valuev, won another close and questionable decision. Looking carefully at Valuev’s biggest fights, he should have won both decisions against John Ruiz and Jameel McCline was outhustling him until “Big Time” blew out his knee in the third round.

Monte Barrett, in the opening round, buckled Valuev with a sharp overhand right to his chin. Holyfield was hurting Valuev with his hooks. Considering Valuev is approximately 100 pounds more than Barrett and Holyfield, what does that say about Valuev?

What does it mean when a fighter with the massive size and reach of Valuev doesn’t jab with conviction? What does it mean when a heavyweight champion cannot throw his right hand at a moving target and apply pressure, cut off a boxing ring, and simply knock fighters out?

Valuev maybe slow, but he’s also not very good folks.

Valuev-Holyfield undercard

The Valuev-Holyfield bout was distributed on Pay-Per-View in the United States and Canada at a suggested retail of $24.95. Unlike the “Dream Match” turned nightmare “Mismatches on Pay-TV” distributed by HBO for $54.95, the Valuev-Holyfield show was highlighted by competitive fights and a now “must-see” main event.

Unbeaten heavyweight Francesco Pianeta (18-0, 11 KOs) of Italy defeated Frenchman Johann Duhaupas (17-1, 10 KOs), via unanimous decision to claim a European title. The official judges at ringside scored the contest: 117-111 (twice) and 116-112. Eileen “The Hawaiian Mongoose” Olszewski (5-2-2, 0 KOs), a former New York Knicks dancer, fought Germany’s Nadia Raoul (9-0-1, 3 KOs) to a 10-round split draw.

It was a competitive bout, as both ladies fought a solid boxing match and displayed good technique, but Raoul probably should have won a close decision. Instead the three judges at ringside scored the bout: 98-92 (Raoul), 96-95 (Olszewski) and 95-95 (even).

Also, Danish southpaw Mads Larsen (51-2, 37 KOs) stopped Italian kickboxing and Thai boxing champion, Roberto Cocco (9-3, 5 KOs) of Italy with a straight left that drove him into the ropes in round seven.